Thursday, November 30, 2006

Duty's Tragic Call.

The tragic deaths incurred by the collision of the Black Hawk helicopter with HMAS Kanimbla, causing it to plunge into the dark, forbidding depths of the ocean, some two to three kilometers below the surface, has sadden this nation. Two fine young men lost in the prime of their lives. The pilot, Mark Bingley leaves behind a young widow and a six-month old son, a son who will never know his father. 28 year-old SAS Corporal Joshua Porter, forever entombed beneath the sea it would appear after the length of time that has transpired since the helicopter went down, leaves behind a loving family who still wait in hope that he will be found alive. Sadly, as each minute, each hour and day passes, this is an unlikely scenario.

Let's all give these fine young men, their loved ones and friends, a moment's silence and our heartfelt thanks for their service in conflicts over the past years. Lest We Forget.....

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Doing a Nellie Melba!

I wonder if Kim Beazley will ever get the message! It's about time he swallowed his pride and gaffs, steps aside and allows someone else take over the leadership of the Labor Party. Not that I mind him staying as leader, mind you...he has less chance of leading the Labor Party to a victory in the next federal election as I have!

Not only is he emulating Dame Nellie Melba, Australia's famous opera singer, who kept coming back for encore performances, but now he's emulating Fred Astaire by planning to do a 're-shuffle' of his frontbench! Give up while you're not ahead, can neither talk properly, let alone sing...and I doubt very much you can do a successful 'shuffle'!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Bee-Careful...Bee-Good...It's the Buzz! Bee-Bond Is the Name!

Scientists in the US claim they have trained bees to sniff out bombs. They say the project could have far-reaching applications in homeland security and the Iraqi war.

The bees have been trained to stick out their proboscis-the tube the use to feed on nectar - (Okay...stop laughing...I'm bee-ing serious!)

The 'Stealthy Insect Sensor Project' exposed the insects to the odour of explosives followed by a sugar-water reward in their training.

My name is Beeeee-ond.....a honeytini, please, sticky not stirred!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

No Strict Timing!

Okay! Okay! So I didn't post any recipes over the weekend! Let's live on the edge a bit and not keep to a hard and fast routine! Spontaneity is the name of the game! It's a great time of the year down here in 'Down Under'. It's mango season...'mango madness'! I miss being surrounded by mango trees as I was when living in tropical North Queensland. My house, when I was working in Collinsville the first time around, had four Kensington Pride (Bowen mango) trees in its back yard. On the property of the motel I was managing in Cardwell, about 21 trees tempted me regularly. Between the highway motel that I managed and the beachfront motel at the other end of the property were cabins, caravan sites...and lots and lots of mango trees! I'll stop my drooling and swooning! Here are a couple of recipes for you to play around with.

Mango & Prawn Salad: Shell and devein 12 (or as many as you desire!) large prawns. Halve really large prawns. Cut a large slice from each side of the mango stone, then cut away the remaining flesh. Cut the large mango slices into strips. Blanch 125g snow peas in boiling water for 1 minute. Drain and cool under cold, running water. If you prefer, snow peas can be served raw in the salad. Combine prawns, mango, snow peas, 4 chopped shallots and 1 cup of pecans in serving bowl. Pour over some French dressing. Season to taste. Toss well and serve. When you are making a vinaigrette for the salad, you can add a little chopped or crushed chilli to the dressing if you'd prefer a bit of a 'bite'!

Mango Chicken Ginger: Dust 4 chicken breast fillets (or thigh fillets) in flour. Pan fry in 1 tablespoon hot extra virgin olive oil with 40g butter until golden brown on both sides. Add slices from 2 mangoes. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in 2 teaspoons finely chopped preserved ginger, 1 tablespoon French mustard, 1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon, 1 tablespoon honey, two or three pinches of powdered chicken stock and 1 cup dry white wine. Return to boil, cover and simmer for 2 minutes. Lift out the chicken and keep it warm. Puree mango sauce until smooth, then return to pan and stir in 1/2 cup cream. Season to taste. Serve garnished with mango slices, pitted black olives and green capsicum strips.

Mango Ice Cream: Puree 1 peeled, seeded, chopped mango with 1 pawpaw (papaya) together with 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Set aside. Combine 4 egg yolks and 2/3rd cup icing sugar in the top of a double boiler. Whisk mixture until eggs are pale in colour and thick. Remove from heat and whisk a further 2 minutes. Gently fold in the fruit puree into the egg mixture. Add cream and mix until well blended. Pour into a 1 litre metal bowl and place in freezer. Before it's set, take out and beat again, then freeze in a decorative mould, if you like, for a minimum of 3 hours. To remove, dip the mould in very hot water for 30 seconds before turning out or scoop out as ice cream balls. Rockmelon/cantaloupe could be substituted for the pawpaw/papaya...or just make the ice cream from mangoes!

Ginger Mango Cheesecake: Thoroughly combine 125g butter, melted, with 2-1/2 cups chocolate biscuit crumbs. Flatten across the bottom and sides of a greased 23cm spring-form pan and chill. Filling: Heat 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup lemon juice until boiling, add 25g lemon jelly crystals and stir to dissolve. Allow to cool. Whip 375g can evaporated milk, chilled until thick. Add 200g soft cream cheese and 2 mangoes, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped. Beat until smooth. Add 1/2 cup brown sugar, vanilla essence, to taste, 1 tablespoon glace ginger, finely chopped and jelly mixture. Pour over crumb crust and chill. Decorate with mango slices, piped cream, small lemon pieces and chocolate curls.
Or....if you prefer.....stand over your kitchen sink and just 'hoe' into the mangoes! Yum!

More Dangerous Here!

Those who jump up and down about our involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan should listen to the daily news...or even the hourly news! The youth in this country are wiping themselves out far quicker than in any war in Iraq or elsewhere!

If it's not high-speed fatal car crashes, it's through brawls and other unnecessary acts of violence. Another young man is missing after being involved in a fight on board a pleasure boat in Sydney. Apparently, he fell overboard, hitting his head on the way down. The search continues.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Give Us a Break!

I attended Gympie State High School. It was compulsory to wear the school uniform. There were probably a few grumbles about the non-flattering uniform but that didn't matter. At least it saved on our parents' pockets in having to buy clothes for us to wear to school. Wearing of the uniforms also, no doubt, eased peer pressure in that we didn't feel we had to 'keep up with the Jones'. I don't even know if we had a problem with 'peer pressure' when I was in high school or when I commencing working. If it was around, it didn't alter my behaviour in any way and still doesn't!

What has prompted this post is an article I read in today's 'Sunday Mail' about "State school uniform standards are now enforceable by law, making it possible for schools to compel students to conform to a code, and to punish those who don't conform with sanctions." Apparently dress codes in state schools were under the jurisdiction of the Department of Education manual. Now, under the new legislation, schools that don't have an official uniform can still maintain its "no uniform" policy but its dress standards would be enforceable. In schools where there is a uniform policy, students will be expected to conform.

I don't think it hurts the kids to wear uniforms! And I believe we allow kids too much say in matters these days...they are still 'kids' after all!

I've not worn a uniform since, of course...I hate them! Even when I was cheffing, I created my own "uniform" as I didn't want to conform. At high school uniforms were the rule, so I conformed! I doubt it did my any harm.

Schoolies: I think this is a load of hogwash, too! I'd already been working a couple of years earning my own living at the age of these kids are who go crazy at the coast this time each year! 'Schoolies' Week' may bring a lot of money to the coastal communities, but it also brings added pressures and problems.

When I was a teenager working in a legal office in Gympie, every weekend during the spring/summer months, about three, sometimes four girlfriends and I went to the coast, either Mooloolaba or Noosa. Noosa became our beach of choice after a year of frequenting Mooloolaba. It was also closer to Gympie. We spent the days, from early morning, sometimes hitting the beach at 6am, until late afternoon, surfing (board and body-surfing), sunbathing (in the days when sun cancer wasn't a term in our vocabularly) and our nights were spent dancing our feet off at either the dances at the RSL Hall in Tewantin or various record hops. On the long weekends, midnight to dawn record hops were organised, so we would be dancing through the nights! I remember a couple of instances where I had blisters on the soles of my feet from 'rockin' & rollin' all night long!

Alcohol wasn't a big part of our equation, nor were sex and drugs. When alcohol was present, binge-drinking definitely wasn't part of it. We weren't supposed to be drinking so, although not totally abiding by the rules, we had respect for the rules and didn't abuse the fact that we were drinking illegally. I know in my case, and that of my group of friends, we still had our parents to answer if we stepped over the line. (And you can guarantee they would have heard about our behaviour somehow or other...lots of 'bush-telegraphs" and bush-tom-toms' around in those days!) I'm not saying we were a bunch of prudes...we weren't...but we had respect for our parents and ourselves.

So many of the young people of today appear to lack respect for their parents, themselves or each other. A lot of the time, I believe the blame is upon the parents. When I first moved to the mountain, I cooked in a restaurant up here. A young sixteen-year old lass who was still going to school at the time but doing work experience on weekends at the restaurant was heading off to the Gold Coast for 'Schoolies' Week'. Her parents loaded up the boot of their car with booze for her to take to the coast. They drove her down! Great message, I thought! (Hang on! I'll take my tongue out of my cheek and remove the sarcasm key!)

It's all a bit sad and a bit crazy, I reckon! I know if I had kids attending 'Schoolies' I'd be worried sick. I would hope that I had instilled in them good values but there are just so many dangerous traps for kids today to fall into and so many bad characters around who prey on them, looking for the slightest, smallest chink in their young armour.

Thursday, November 23, 2006


Following on from my previous post about David Hackworth and Peter Hackworth and my time at 'Scaramouche' Restaurant in Brisbane, I'll relate a story.

I have many to tell about my time at 'Scaramouche'...and all, I think, are fairly interesting and fun. I worked at 'Scaramouche' on tables, (and one time in the kitchen...but that's another story for another day!) starting off by going into help one day. I had taken four days or five days off from my regular day job, which was in the fashion industry, to give a hand...just polishing glasses, writing up the blackboard menu...stuff like that but as the day progressed, I became so involved I didn't want to leave and I ended staying on into the evening, greeting and seating guests...and doing the odd bit of waitressing. No stoppin' this kid! Peter asked me if I'd like to do a couple of nights a week and I jumped at her offer, starting off doing Friday and Saturday nights. By the end of my time at the restaurant I was doing five nights a week and all through my service there I maintained the main section. The restaurant was divided up into three sections at the beginning. My section grew! It ended up extending from a back room opposite the kitchen, through the main area, up unto the 'stage' section! We did three turn-overs a night! First one commenced at 6pm. Second one around 8pm and the third around 9pm. I still had my full-time day job, as well.

One particular incident comes to mind. It was Saturday night. All week the kitchen staff had been taking the bookings we discovered, the hard way...and they had failed to enter most of the bookings in the book, so we were absolutely over-booked! Around 7-7.30pm that particular Saturday evening, prospective diners were queued up at the door, extending from the restaurant, which was on the corner of Turbot Street and Coronation Drive (for you who know that area of Brisbane), up along Turbot Street, around the corner into George Street. The Majestic Hotel was on the corner and the queue was past the Majestic Hotel. I don't know if the hotel is still there. So you imagine the crowd of hungry diners waiting to be seated inside the restaurant! The early diners were still leisurely enjoying their meals, totally unaware of the mayhem which was about to explode...or implode! The guy on the door wasn't handling the situation very well, and no one could blame him. Peter started to hyper-ventilate almost...she was in a panic, not knowing what to do being faced with the possibility of a riot on her doorstep! I walked outside and that's when I saw the length of the queue. I came back inside the restaurant, took Peter aside and said, "Look! There's no point that's not going to solve a will only make the situation worse. My suggestion is that you and I grab ourselves a bottle of wine and head upstairs for a bit and let them work it all out themselves!" To which Peter let out a huge breath of air and replied, "What a great idea! Let's go!"

This we did. The two of us sat on the stairs, at the top of the staircase and drank our wine! By the time, we came back down, everyone was seated, bar a party of six! They, fortunately for us, were in a good, partying mood. When Peter and I approached them, I explained to the group that they would only have to wait a little bit longer before we would seat them. They replied, "That's okay as long as we can have a drink while we are waiting!" At that time, 'Scaramouche' wasn't licensed but the party had bottles of wine under their arms.

We said..."Great! Not a problem! Come with us!" Peter and I led the happy revellers up the stairs to the store room! Once there, I opened their wine. They asked us to join them and we did! So there we were with the jovial group sitting on bags of flour, sugar and large buckets of mayonnaise or whatever, having our own private party! Shortly thereafter, their table was ready and all was well!

There was not an unhappy diner in the restaurant that night and I think Peter was eternally grateful for my suggestion.

Years later, I was up in North Queensland taking on a new job as chef. The guy whom I was replacing worked with me on my first night. We were exchanging stories about cooking, restaurants etc., as one does, and for some reason or other, I began telling him this story. As I got towards the end of my tale, he had a grin like the Cheshire Cat out of 'Alice in Wonderland' on his face. He said, "I remember that night! It was the talk of the trade in the city!" Apparently, the word had passed around and our magical trick was now a well-known legend in the Brisbane restaurant trade! Small world! And it is a lesson to be learned that when relating a story to make sure you don't embellish it. Just tell it as it was because you will always get caught out if you spin a yarn that's not true!

A lot of the restaurant folk used to come to 'Scaramouche' after they'd finished working in their restaurants to have a drink with us. We seemed to be always closing much later than the others at that time. It used to be a lot of fun sitting around a couple of tables in front of the 'stage' area exchanging stories as we enjoyed a few drinks.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Silence of the Men!

For the next few days/weeks, you who have menfolk in your lives will hear little more than a grunt out of them! Glory be, I hear you say!

The Ashes have begun as I write! Our boys are walking out on the the field! Now, the Poms are making their entrance! It's all about to erupt!

Stock up your eskies! Load up your fridges! The test match is about to commence! I just hope our fellows play better than how the 'Young Divas' sang the National Anthem...or how the sound equipment worked (didn't work!)

With all the media hype that's been going on during the lead-up to The Ashes, it's hard not to be carried along with the euphoria whether you're a cricket nut or not! Go the Aussies!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I'm Not Really....

The other day I was joking around with a friend when another person, a social worker, joined us. I didn't know this woman but the conversation continued on in its jovial manner. Something was mentioned about 'anger management'. The woman related a humorous tale and my friend jokingly nodded towards me and said, laughingly to the other person, that I'd be a good candidate or words to that effect. We all laughed but I've been thinking about this on and off ever since the comment was made.

I don't believe I am an 'angry' person. There are many things, I know, that make me feel anger like, for example, paedophilia, rape, terrorism, ignorance, stupidity, ill-treatment of animals, being taken for granted, to mention a few! Oft times some people make me angry but I tend to 'stew' privately 99% of the time!

I believe rather than being classed as an 'angry' person, I would consider myself to be 'passionate' person. I feel 'passion' about certain issues. I'm not afraid to speak my mind if and when an issue arises.

I don't suffer fools easily, if at all. And that includes myself if I do something stupid when I should have known better!

Standing up for what one believes in and not being afraid to voice one's thoughts or feelings, doesn't make a person an 'angry' person to my mind. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think so.

Monday, November 20, 2006

A Sad Day In Swimming...But Good On Him!

'Thorpedo' has announced his retirement. He did it in the style and class we are used to seeing from him. What a fine young man of just 24 years he is. I have to be honest and admit I had a tear in my eye watching him speak today during his press conference. He is such a great role model for all young people. During his swimming life, he inspired us all, I'm sure. We will miss Thorpie, but let us respect his decision as it is, in the end, his decision to make and his only.

Best wishes to this wonderful young Aussie...may his future be bright and may all his dreams come true.

I finally 'discovered' that I don't have to keep logging in every time I want to write a new post! All I have to do is click on the 'header' on my site where it says 'New Posts' and it brings me directly to my 'compose' page! Double "Duh"!

But...I deserve to give myself a pat on the back! I successfully installed my broadband modem yesterday after having cords going everywhere, around my neck, through my fingers, legs, over the monitor, around my pc and in the midst of all the drama, a friend arrived! Not exactly the right time to arrive for a visit! I put my toys aside until after he left as there was no point my continuing while he was here, plus he and his wife don't have a computer and know nothing about them (quite a phenomenon these days!). I set my frustration aside, poured him a wine as he settled in for a long chat! Hiding my impatience to continue with the installation/connection, under pressure from myself, I enjoyed the interlude but as soon as he departed I tackled the 'job' once more, successfully achieving what I set out to do. I'm now with BigPond Broadband and now my phone is free for all the stupid 'call centres' to annoy the hell out of me! My 'first' call was one such call and I gave them short-shift!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Words of Wisdom

Top US general in the Middle East, General John Abizaid, says if the world does not find a way to stem the rise of Islamic militancy, it will face a third world war. General Abizaird compared the rise of militant ideologies such as that driving al-Qaeda (al-Qaida) to the rise of fascism in Europe, which set the stage for World War ll.

In his words, "If we don't have the guts enough to confront this ideology today, we'll go through World War lll tomorrow."

Now is not the time to tread softly, wear kid gloves or ignore General Abizaid's words of wisdom.
Leave Him Alone!

I wish everyone would lay off Ian Thorpe. 'Thorpie' has served this country well in his chosen sport of swimming. If he decides to give up swimming, it is his right to do so. Selfishly, I will miss watching him swim as I'm a huge fan of Ian Thorpe, however, one must realise this young man has devoted his time and energies since he was 15 (and younger) to competitive swimming. It's understandable if he is suffering 'burn-out'. Also, we must understand he had glandular fever earlier this year. The effects of glandular fever can linger on for years.

There comes a time in everyone's life for a 'seachange'...when that time comes, we have no control over its unexpected arrival. We just know something has to change. So, good on you, Thorpie...whatever you choose to do. You have represented your country well. I, for one, am very proud of you and your achievements. Now it's your time to enjoy life without the pressures you've had to contend with.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Can't Help Myself!

While on the subject of 'chickens', I thought I'd give you a couple of recipes for non-toxic chickens, just in case I've whetted your taste buds. Sneak into your neighbour's yard tonight and swipe a couple of his chickens, that way you'll be sure not to get poisoned. Don't tell your neighbour I was the one who advised you to do this or he might sue me on Monday!

Roast Spatchcock with Lemon & Herbs: Make a lemon and herb paste: Combine 1 tablespoon rosemary leaves, 1/4 cup Italian parsley leaves, 1/2 cup basil leaves, 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped sage, 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind and 2 tablespoons extra virgin oil in a food processor. Process until a paste forms. Season to taste with sea salt and cracked black pepper. Using hands, loosen skin on four spatchcocks by pushing your fingers between skin and breast meat, then rub 1 tablespoon of paste over meat. Pull skin back over meat. Season to taste. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large flameproof casserole and brown spatchcocks, in batches, until golden all over, then remove from pan. Rub spatchcocks with remaining paste and set aside. Heat some more oil in pan, add some eggplant chopped, 4 small zucchini, chopped, 4 egg tomatoes, coarsely chopped, 1 red capsicum/pepper, chopped, 2 Spanish onions, chopped and cook for 10 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup burghul (cracked wheat), then add spatchcocks, cover with tight-fitting lid and pot roast at 220C for 20 minutes. Remove lid, then roast a further 10 minutes or until spatchcocks are cooked. Serve on a bed of the vegetable mixture.

Smoked Chicken in Filo: Chop 1 bunch chives and mix with 300ml sour cream. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, a little fresh ground black pepper and the juice of half a lemon. Remove meat from 1 smoked chicken and place bones in a saucepan with 400ml a rich chicken stock, 1/2 cup white wine and a dash of port. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer to reduce to about 400ml. Remove one sheet of the filo pastry. Brush liberally with melted butter or with olive oil. Place oiled side down on a second sheet of pastry. Take about 1/6th of the smoked chicken meat and place it at one end of the pastry. Peel 2 avocados and slice thinly. Place 1/6th avocado on top of the chicken on the pastry. Add a heaped tablespoon of the sour cream mixture. Form into a log shape by folding both edges of the pastry into the centre and rolling up. Brush the roll with more melted butter or oil and place on a baking tray. Repeat five more times with the remaining mixtures. Bake the rolls in a preheated 200C oven until the pastry is browned, about 15-20 minutes. To serve: pour a little of the hot, reduced sauce on each of six plates and top with a filo roll.

Cluck! Cluck! Or Should I Make Noises Like a Mushroom?

The point is, government treats us like mushrooms by keeping us in the dark and feeding us...well, you know what...chicken manure?!! If mushrooms made a noise, I would make a noise like one!

Only by persistence on the part of 'Courier Mail' reporter, Renee Viellaris, was the public alerted to the death of 49,000 chickens from an overdose of parasite control treatment. The government doesn't think us, the mere public/consumers, need to know the fact that 150,000 chickens, which had survived a toxic overdose in the feed that killed their feathered mates, had arrived at our supermarkets! Who's having roast chicken for dinner this weekend?

It is apparent the government never intended us to find out about this. Except for Viellaris's chasing up the Minister for Primary Industries, Tim Mulherin, in her investigation of this issue, we'd still all be in the dark. Mulherin is dodging and darting from the bullets and passing the blame onto others, not wanting to admit to any misdemeanour! Mulherin has been ducking and weaving for the last couple of days, refusing to answer questions and his 'deputies' and spokespeople claim he has been in 'all-day meetings'. He did, however, find time to make a press statement about Queensland citrus producers, saying they were aiming for the Olympics after their mandarins were recommended for the 2008 Olympic menu!

I guess feeding mandarins to the Mandarins is more important than feeding toxic chicken to the voting public...and their offspring!

Watch This Space!

Self-proclaimed 'British' multi-millionaire, Mohammed Islam aged 22 years (I guess he's a Muslim...what do you reckon?) arrested on the Gold Coast yesterday with almost $120,000.00 in cash and a mobile/cell phone stuck up his rectum would have found it difficult to sit on a bar stool, I would imagine. Just as well, he was arrested!

He was charged in Southport Court yesterday with possessing 'tainted' doesn't need much imagination to figure that one out!

A check with Interpol revealed Islam had supplied police with a false London address. I would hope he is boarding a jet back to Britain as I write.
A Pain in the Butt!

I've switched over to Beta...for better or worse! Worse, I think, as I can see no advantages at all! Also why do I have to go through such a rigmarole in having to sign in every time I want to post??? It was much simpler the old way! As the saying goes..."why fix it, if it ain't broke?"

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Storm Brewing.....

I was tempted to post this watercolour I did a couple of years ago because Robyn "puss-in-boots' posted a pic on her blog which reminded me so much of my painting, although the colours are different.

The wind is still blowing a gale up here at the moment. I spent the afternoon at the local RSPCA 'Op Shop' terrorising the customers! It's always a bit of fun and I end up coming home with lots of goodies! Today, however, I limited my spending to some children's books, a martini glass and a pair of white slacks for myself. The books are for my nephew's 15th month old little girl. Children can never have enough books to my mind. When I was young, every birthday and every Christmas I received many books as part of my presents. I used to love the smell of new books...still do, though these days I buy them second-hand more than I do buy them new. There is an excellent second-hand bookshop up here on the mountain, which donates a percentage of their takings to Landcare. The quality of the books available is excellent as is the range.

I love books and I love bookshops. I can wander around studying the titles for hours, wishing I had an unlimited bank balance! My many bookcases here at home groan under the weight of my books. I have more books than the shelves can hold. My bedside chest of drawers presently holds a dozen or more...ready to be read.

Between browsing through bookstores, kitchenware stores and good food stores I could easily fill a day...oh...add music stores to that list, as well!
I Haven't a Clue!

What I'm going to write about, that is! As I've been a bit slack in that department this week, I felt I had better 'say' something today before I head out for the afternoon. It's blowing a gale outside and the temperature has dropped drastically...winter has made a return visit, so it's out with the warm clothes, albeit only for today as reports are this is only a twenty-four hour or so visit.

Not that I mind the cooler weather. I prefer it to the scorching heat of summer. So far we've had a gentle entry into spring/summer and I'm hoping against hope, we don't have a very hot summer this season. No doubt, Christmas Day will be its usual furnace.

A wild storm went through parts of Brisbane yesterday afternoon causing loads of damage. The mountain received the rain and some small hail but no damage.

The new Bond movie is being promoted heavily...all eyes are upon Daniel Craig, the new James. I think he should be okay...better than some others, namely Roger Moore. I'm still a Sean Connery fan...he, in my mind, was the best Bond.

I had an interesting experience one evening many years ago. I thought I was starring in a Bond movie. An elderly gentleman who was at the time the Australian Consul for Chile and also a Doctor of Dentistry used to take me out to dinner once a week. It was a purely platonic relationship and I enjoyed his company and stories. He was born and bred in Brisbane and a 'true blue' Aussie. During the time we were dining together was when Allende was kicked out of power in Chile. One Wednesday evening, we had just begun to place our meal order when my escort was called to the office of the restaurant. He returned to our table saying we had to leave immediately as there had been a threat made against him! He instructed me to go one way to the carpark as he went by another. Arriving at the car, I stood wondering to myself as he was opening the car door, whether or not I should climb in the car with him. My mind was racing through all the movies I had seen where the cars blew up when the key was put in their ignitions! I felt it wouldn't be very 'kosher' for me to mention this to him at that particular moment. I thought to myself, 'What the hell! If it's going to happen it's going to happen and I shouldn't allow myself such thoughts." I felt it would be a very cowardly thing for me to do, to allow him to proceed while I ran! So, I got in. As you can see, the car didn't blow up!

He drove me home along a different route...along Coronation Drive, saying that the Federal Police were following us at a distance and that they would have done all their checks on me etc. As we were driving along, I could smell petrol. Again, my mind went into overdrive. Finally, I just had to say something, so I pointed the smell out to him. He had a can of motor mower fuel in the trunk of his car! He deposited me safely to my door and went on his way!

I never did get to eat that evening!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Circus Comes To Town!

The circus begins on the weekend! The Cruise/Holmes wedding is to take place, that is.

I'm not a cynic but what a lot of rot and unnecessary b/s they're are going through. This is Tom Cruise's third all seems over-the-top and ridiculous to me...and hypercritical. I wonder how long this one will last and if he will revert to his 'couch/sofa-jumping' when the divorce is announced! Perhaps someone will give them a new sofa as a wedding present as I'm sure they need a new one after Tom's antics!

Kochie, on 'Sunrise' this morning, reckons the crew from 'Sunrise' should give TomKat a 'talking Boonie' as a wedding present. Someone emailed the show and suggested a cheque made out to 'reality'.."a reality cheque". Another suggested a subscription to NIDA for Tom for acting lessons!

Monday, November 13, 2006

When You Wish You Could Become Invisible...Or Had Already Been So!

I've been busying doing fiddly little things around home and, while doing so, my mind, by its own volition, decided to sort and sift through thoughts and memories. Embarrassing moments, of which I have had many, far too many to mention, came to the forefront of my mind. I've been having a few giggles here to myself recalling some of my most classic moments! I'll share one of those moments with you.

I'd not long relocated from Gympie to Brisbane to work when my new boss's wife gave birth to their first child. Not yet 21 years old, I was still a little shy in the company of strangers. I had only met the wife once at that stage, and at the time of our brief introduction and small talk, she was 'very' pregnant. She gave birth to a beautiful, bouncing baby boy about six weeks after I'd commenced working with her husband. The proud new father, my boss, suggested that I go to the hospital during my lunch break to visit with her and to view their newborn. Feeling I couldn't decline, off I went alone, to St. Andrew's Hospital in Brisbane. I'd never been there before that particular day, so that was quite an event in itself!

Upon arriving at the, I'm like most people, I guess...I hate hospitals and I turn into someone else everytime I set foot in one...which isn't my choosing...I quietly walked down the corridor following instructions of the sign that said "Maternity Ward"! Neither looking right nor left for fear of disturbing patients, I eventually found the room in which, Shirley, my boss's wife was.

Stepping inside, four or five people gathered around the bed greeted me warmly. I smiled bravely, returning the smiles of the new mother and her happy visitors. I started to chatter inanely, when out of the corner of my eye, I spied Shirley's face peering around from the screen dividing her bed from the person with whom I'd been exchanging pleasantries! A person who, by now, probably thought I was a friendly, well-meaning, visiting Salvation Army Sister Jo or whatever and was probably waiting for me to start shaking the box!

I withered, wishing to disappear out of sight...and the world! I begged Shirley, whom at that stage, I was still calling "Mrs", not to mention my embarrassing error in recognition to her husband, my boss. I couldn't stand the thought of them laughing behind my back at my blunder! She vainly tried to appease my feelings of desperation and I feigned I was put at ease. However, immediately upon arriving back at work, I went to my boss's office and told him the complete woeful tale! He was very understanding and gentle towards my fractured self!

For fourteen years I worked with him as his secretary and 'right-hand-man'...he and I built up the Queensland office of the national company (fashion industry) between us, hiring more staff and moving to larger premises. From two, we grew into into a staff of 16. Through the years, he, his wife, Shirley and I became good, firm friends. I was there for the birth of their two sons. I was like and still am, an older sister to the boys. John has since passed away, but Shirley is still my very good friend and the 'boys' still keep in touch with me. The eldest worked with me for a while on Hinchinbrook Island.

My embarrassing moment at the eldest boy's birth became a 'family joke' and many a time over lunchs, dinners or whatever, we would bring up the subject, relive it and laugh our heads off. We still laugh about it to this day!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Sad News!

Our poor little Sophie Delizio is still going through major battles. I heard on the news this morning she has bleeding on the brain...caused by the accident when the car hit her. Her father released the information that she isn't gaining weight and tires very easily. The dear little angel has been through so much in her short time here on earth. Let us all hope she is okay and that this further hurdle is overcome soon. How I feel for the family and for dear little Sophie.

Update: On Ch. 7 News this evening, the above report was rebutted by Sophie's Dad. He said that because of the injuries to her head when hit by the car and the bleeding, Sophie's attention span and learning capabilities aren't as they were prior to that second accident. She'll be right. Sophie's a brave and tough little girl...and as bright as the shiniest of buttons! He pleaded that the false reports cease and he doesn't know where they eventuated. So often this happens. This wonderful family doesn't need any more stress put upon them by false reporting, that's for sure!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

The Party Is Never Over!

My first luncheon party guests arrived at 11am...which was very it was the 11th day of the 11th month and I was born shortly after the llth hour. My last guest left at 12.20am on the 12th day of the llth month...which was equally fitting...but I can't remember why!

It was one of the best birthday celebrations I've had, and I've had some good ones! As it was a surprise party for me, put on by me and I didn't tell me anything about what was planned...I wasn't surprised!

It has been a wonderful day and night...and early morning...and I'm still not ready to go to bed! I've got some good music playing...and I'm feeling on top of the world.

Oh! Yes! There are a few empties!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Let The Party Begin!

Tomorrow, 11th of the 11th is my birthday! I was even born shortly after the 11th hour! Maybe that's a give-away to who I am! I won't delve too deeply into that one!

I'm throwing myself a surprise luncheon party! I haven't told myself yet! I've invited a few friends over to share my celebration! Today, I'm in the midst of preparation. The aroma of food cooking is permeating my cabin. My taste buds are being tempted and tested! While I'm having a breather from cooking, and before I start making a rich chocolate cake, and seeing it's almost the weekend, I'll share some more recipes with you. I hope you enjoy these.

Devilled Beef Ribs: Preheat oven to 220C. Cut 2 racks of pre-roasted beef ribs into serving portions. Combine 2/3rd cup English mustard with 2 teaspoons brown sugar. Using a brush, generously coat each rib with mixture. Roll in breadcrumbs to coat thoroughly. Arrange ribs rounded side up on 2 pans and bake for 30-40 minutes or until nicely browned. When pre-roasting ribs...combine 2/3 cup flour, 2 large garlic cloves, crushed, 1 tablespoon paprika, salt and pepper. Rub uncut beef ribs with flour mixture. Place on rack in roasting pan, rounded side up and bake for 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Calamari & Prawn Salad: Blanch 500g small calamari, sliced into rings, briefly in salted boiling water. Drain and cool under cold running water. Drain again and toss in a bowl with 500g medium-size cooked prawns/shrimp, shelled, leaving tails on. Add 1 large red onion, thinly sliced, 1 red capsicum, julienned, 1 Lebanese/telegraph cucumber, peeled and julienned, 1 small bunch snake beans, cut into 10cm lengths (beans par-boiled for 2 minutes). Shake juice of 1 lemon and 1 teaspoon julienned rind, 1/2 cup virgin olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon crushed green peppercorns in a glass jar. Pour over seafood mixture and mix well. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Make a vignaigrette with 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 3 teaspoons white wine vinegar, 1/3 teaspoon finely chopped lemon thyme, 2 teaspoons finely chopped parsley and mix together well. Whisk in 1/4 cup virgin olive oil in a steady stream. Season to taste. Toss some rocket and radicchio leaves with vinaigrette and arrange on platter. Mound seafood mixture in centre and garnish with fanned radishes and slices of avocado.

Cherry Pie: Make pastry: Sift 2 cups plain flour and 1 teaspoon cinnamon into a bowl. Mix in 1/2 cup caster sugar and 125g ground almonds. Rub in 185g butter until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. (Always remember...use the tips of your fingers when rubbing in the butter...never the palm of your hands as the heat from your palms will make the pastry tough). Lightly work in 1 large beaten egg. Use a flat-bladed knife to do this. Roll out 2/3rds of the dough between freezer wrap and then line a lightly buttered base and sides of a deep 4-cup pie dish. Cover and refrigerate. Roll remaining pastry into a rectangle, cover and chill. Filling: Place 875g fresh cherries, stones removed, 1/3 cup caster sugar, 1 cup of water in a saucepan. Simmer for 10 minutes. Blend 2 tablespoons kirsch with 1 tablespoon cornflour together, stir into cherries and boil 1 minute. Cool completely. Brush inside of pastry shell with beaten egg white and allow to dry. Pour cherry filling into the shell and cover with pastry strips in a lattice pattern, sealing the ends to the sides with a little egg white. Bake at 200C for 15 minutes, then reduce temperature to 180C and continue baking for a further 40 minutes, covering the top with foil if browning too much. Serve pie hot, with lightly whipped cream.

Enjoy your weekend everyone. I'll let you know how everything turns out tomorrow! On with the motley and pop go the corks!

When Is A Rock Star Not A Rock Star?

Some people do have an over-inflated opinion of themselves!

I just heard briefly on 'Sunrise' this morning that Bono, lead singer of the rock band U2, has put a condition to a meeting with our prime minister, John Howard! He, Bono, will only agree to meet with John Howard if the prime minister agrees to increase foreign aid! What a hide! Explains his name, "Bono" rhymes with "rhino"...his hide is certainly as thick as one!

A bit cheeky, in my opinion!

Australia has never been backwards in coming forwards in the foreign aid department, and for a visitor to this country, be it a leader of a rock band who thinks he's the new Messiah or not, to put conditions upon a meeting with the prime minister of this country is laughable. Of course, John Howard refused to a meeting with this pumped-up Irishman! Go back to your own stage, Bono!

Australia has always been very generous, sometimes overly-generous in its foreign aid.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Overboard...Completely, Totally Dunked!

I heard a report this morning that in Britain no depiction, or very little, of the birth of Christ is showing up this year in their Christmas cards, decorative displays etc., due to the wish not to offend Muslims and other religions! It doesn't take much to guess that it's the Muslims they are tippy-toeing around! Last year the use of the word "Christmas" was rare and far between. The word that replaced "Christmas" was..."holiday" decorations, "holiday" celebrations etc.!

Christmas is Christmas as Easter is Easter as New Year is New Year. I guess we could turn "New Year" into "Old Year Passing"! Is that offensive to anyone? What about 'birthday' we have to change that also because it might offend someone? What about "Sunday Lunch"? We could change that to "The Day After Saturday Lunch"!

This CHRISTMAS in Britain cards, window displays, home decorations et al are not showing Nativity scenes, or the three Wisemen...probably no stars either!

I don't know about you, but I've had 'political correctness' up to here and beyond! I've never been a fan of political correctness. I believe it is being abused to the extreme these days. It has gone too far...stepped over the line!

What beats me is, why are we so damned scared to offend the Muslims? The Muslims sure as hell aren't scared to offend us (one glaring example being il-Hilali...and there are thousands of other examples, far too many to list here in my blog!)...and the Muslims sure as hell aren't scared to threaten or to kill us! Bowing down to Muslims and giving in to Muslims in these manners is completely wrong, in my opinion!

I'm not afraid to offend the Muslims...I think I might set up a Nativity scene in my front garden!

An early Merry Christmas to you all...

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Throw Out the Empties!

Well, Melbourne Cup Day is over for another year! My horses came 4th and 8th but I had a fun day, sipping on champagne, trying to pick winners in all of the races. I succeed in three with a couple of seconds and thirds, but of course, I didn't back those! There were lots of fashion highs, with as many, if not more, lows! The crowd, as usual at Flemington were in good cheer. It was great to see Flemington Racecourse has been put on the Heritage list.

Our trainers here are now going to have to 're-group', change a few of their tactics and be ready to regain the Cup to our shores next year! We can't have the Japanese (or anyone, for that matter!) taking it away from us again! It does add to the competition, of course. The Melbourne Cup and other race meetings in this country will not lose from yesterday's result.

Well, now I've got to get stuck into my preparations for my luncheon party this Saturday! There is no end to the celebrations!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Bring On the Bubbly!

Today is one of my favourite days of the year! It could very well be my favourite!'s finally here! Melbourne Cup Day!

On reflection, I have enjoyed so many fun Cup Days. Let me tell you about Melbourne Cup Day on Hinchinbrook Island...yes...there's *that* island, again!

I encouraged my staff to all "dress" for the day. Well, you can imagine some of the crazy outfits, including my own! The previous night I volunteered one member of my crew to go out and collect some cane toads! (Unfortunately, the poor, old, much-maligned cane toad has made its way across the ocean!) I think I bribed her with various cocktails! Having succeeded in her mission, she came back with a box full of toads, much to everyone's delight. Another staff member was delegated to paint a different coloured "spot" on each of the intended contenders for the cane toad race to be held next afternoon.

The day arrived! Everyone was excited, guests included, in readiness for the festivities of the afternoon. An early special Cup luncheon was served and enjoyed by everyone. Once lunch was over, the fun really began. Day guests had arrived by boat in the morning. Amongst them a couple of Swiss backpackers who had only a day or two earlier arrived in Australia for the first time. Needless to say, they thought us Aussies were a very weird mob, in particular, those on Hinchinbrook Island! I can't say I blame we certainly were a motley crew, albeit a very high-spirited motley crew!

Came the time to hold the Cane Toad Cup! Maurice, who had been in charge of the appropriate markings of our stable of thoroughbred racers arrived on the deck around the pool, box of contenders under his arm. Upon opening the door of the "stable", to parade our beauties, our competitors for the illustrious *Hinchinbrook Cup* were all dead! The silly idiot, instead of just dabbing a different coloured spot on each toad, had coated them in paint! Of course, they were all dead!

In a flurry of panic, moments before the race was ready to begin, I ordered him to go and find another stable of competitors! This is a slightly more difficult feat to achieve in daylight. However, fearful of his punishment, Maurice fulfilled his chore, shaking with fear! Quickly, the new race-toads were duly tagged with different colours and the race began! The air filled with expectation as we cheered and screamed, urging our chosen ones across the finish line!

My Swiss guests left the island that afternoon, still shaking their heads in confusion! I've often wondered what their conversations were as they headed back to the mainland that afternoon to continue their visit to this "strange' country!

Melbourne Cup Day...yes...I always have a fun time on Melbourne Cup Day and this year will be no different. The champers is chilling in my fridge, ready to be 'popped' later as the day progresses....morning? I've picked the winner! I hope! It won't matter if I haven't, the race will still be as exciting as ever!

Good luck, everyone...have a great day!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

When Is a Jackass Not A Jackass?

The so-called 'experts' are out again! Their complaint is that movies like "Jackass" should be banned because kids of today will go out and try to copy the antics!

Well, I've got news for you, 'experts', as a kid growing up, I never missed a Saturday afternoon matinee at the Olympia Theatre in Gympie. Then for the following week until the next Saturday, my friend and I acted out the movies we had seen the previous Saturday! We were trapeze artists, tightrope walkers, ballet dancers (yes, we were and still are females!), swashbuckling pirates, cowboys and indians, 'Robina' Hoods, cat woman...we even changed into Superman and Batman! We saved the world from many a tight situation! We were brave, adventurous, swung from ropes tied to branches of the backyard trees, while imitating the neighbourhood-shattering call of Tarzan. We tackled crocodiles and alligators long before Crocodile Dundee and Steve Irwin were ever heard of! We raced in the streets of Monaco and on the tracks of San Marino in our 'soapbox carts'.

And I'm still here to tell the tale!

On the one hand 'they' scream about childhood obesity...and on the other hand 'they' are trying to harness outdoor activity of children.

Stop 'molly-coddling' the kids of today, I say. Kids have to be kids, skinned knees and elbows, a few whacks on the head... all part of growing up.
Swing On the Bell, Nell!

Let's hope appeals against Saddam Hussein's death sentence don't drag on forever. Violence, no doubt, will increase as Hussein's supporters vent their anger at the decision against Hussein and three of his henchmen, one of whom is Hussein's half-brother, also sentenced to death along with him. A defiant Hussein was ignored by the court's judges during his tirade. Those fighting now after the court decision are only trying to save their own skins, anyway...Hussein is past history to them...

Under the new Iraqi system, Hussein has the right to lodge an appeal, far more leniency than he gave his victims in the mass murder of Kurds, Shia's and those slain in 1982 which this trial covered. No matter what happens, Hussein will not escape his punishment.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

A Break From Reality!

I've chewed over this one for a while...but then, I thought, what the hell! I will post it anyway!


Both you and I know there will never be an "us"
Divided by ocean so deep differences insurmountable
It is not enough though my love is honest without fuss
I confess to this I hold myself wholly solely accountable

You know I love are unaware just how much
Nothing I can do will change how deeply I feel for you
Recurring thoughts the haunting memories of your touch
Enraptured by your presence my times with you too few

Hopeless murmurings of discontent often disrupt my sleep
In the midst of night I reach out to you in the darkness
My soulful lament you are not aware of how much I weep
Pacing the floor repining your absence and my aloneness

Yes it is true sometimes you cause me anger you raise my ire
But I never want to live my existence without you in my life
It is not only your body I desire but it is you whom I admire
My heartache unremitting my pain obstinately cuts like a knife

Poem written by Lee...who knows when!

Friday, November 03, 2006

When a Snake Is Not a Snake!

As promised to 'puss-in-boots' in my previous post, here is my tale of the 18th set the scene:

In the years 1986/87, I was very fortunate to live on Hinchinbrook Island. I managed the resort at Cape Richards, situated on the far northern eastern tip of that magnificent, beautiful island. 245 square miles of island to be exact, with the resort area covering only 22 acres of the island's rugged, awesome, picturesque expanse. My husband and I had separated early 1986, so I was alone in my management and the first female to manage the resort. My home on the island was a small studio-type abode situated far removed from the rest of the accommodation on the island, the restaurant/bar/kitchen building, staff quarters and machinery areas. It was only a few metres/yards below the track up to the look-out on Cape Richards itself, with views from all quarters of the surrounding ocean to Garden and Goold Islands, both very short boat trips out from Cape Richards.

Through the bushes to the left of my 'house', quite a distance away, stood two cabins each housing some of my staff. My chief maintenance guy, Ted, lived in the furtherest cabin from my home. Ted was a 'true-blue' Aussie bloke. A man of few words and one if he liked you, (particularly a woman!) you knew he would never let you down. I never questioned him on his work as I had total faith in his abilities. At the end of his day I always made a point of having a beer with him before I'd go back to my place to shower and change for the evening in the restaurant. He and I would talk about everything and anything, however over our beers I learned what was happening out in the 'field' without appearing like a 'boss'. I was the first, and I would say, the last, woman he has ever worked for. We held a mutual respect for each other.

A normal day on the island for me would commence around 6am, sometimes earlier. I would go across to my office housed in the restaurant building to attend to the daily rosters, sea plane and boat arrivals etc., etc. During the day I dressed very casually either in shorts or long t-shirts...that sort of gear. I would race home every afteroon around 5pm for a quick shower and change into 'smart island-casual' for the evening frivolities. I'd spend the evenings talking with the guests...just being 'the hostess-with-the-mostest'! All that sort of fun stuff...and it was great fun. I met so many interesting, fascinating people from throughout this country and from overseas. To digress for a moment, John Nettles star of "Midsomer Murders" was a guest on the island for seven days. Lovely fellow, he was, too.

One Sunday, I'd got 'stuck' over at the restaurant all day. The Ansett Airlines Sales/Marketing people turned up that day for a "famil"...which in other words a 'freebie' for them. In fact, it was business for both of sides of the fence. They assess the resort and what it has to offer for their travellers. I was "talked-out", "smiled-out" and feeling tired...and just plain tired of people. so I wanted some "out" time for myself. Such "time" I never took for myself, always being on hand and "performing". As the Ansett crew were staying for two days/nights, I excused myself from not dining with them the first evening of their visit with a white fib...I had "paperwork to catch up on". I said I would dine with them on the following evening. I finally escaped from the restaurant at around 7.35pm for the first time to return to my abode since early that morning. Normally, when I went home in the afternoons to shower and change for the evenings, I would close the windows and doors of my house for the night. This, of course, I hadn't had a chance to do that particular day.

I remember the time very well, as if it were only yesterday. It was 7.40pm when I walked into my home. I'd not seen television for months. Upon arriving upstairs to my living and sleeping was open-plan...I threw off the long t-shirt I had been wearing and without putting on the lights, I reached up to switch on the TV to watch "Sixty Minutes", turning on a wall light next to it at the same time. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed something move on my bed. When I turned to look, there was "George" the 18ft python that had been so aptly named by the staff. I had never set eyes on "George" before that night, though I had heard a lot about him. I wasn't very thrilled, as you can imagine, to find him on my bed! I froze. The first words that came out of my mouth were, "Jesus Bloody Christ!"

In my shocked state, I couldn't find the clothes I had just abandoned! So, I grabbed the nearest thing I could and threw it on me. I grabbed "Ruska", my twelve-year old ginger cat (yes, I was allowed to have my cat on the island. He was a house cat, rarely wandering outside other than to do his 'business'...obviously, "George" had his eye on Ruska)...and I put Ruska into the bathroom closing the door behind me. I then rushed down the spiral staircase...I don't remember my feet touching any of the stairs! I raced through the bush to Ted's cabin, yelling, 'Ted! Ted! Snake! Snake!' Ted rushed out at the sound of my strangled voice. Laughing his head off all the way back to my place, with me close behind him telling him it wasn't funny, we flew back up the staircase to find 'George' still squirming and slithering over my king-sized bed!

I grabbed my broom...I have no idea what good I was going to do with that...but it seemed right at the time. Ted kept up his laughter, gurgling "Get the camera! Get the camera!" While I'm cursing at him, telling him, "The effing camera is over at the effing get the effing snake out of here!" This went on for minutes! Both of us shouting at each other. Ted in glee and me in frantic panic! I was scared that "George" would get under the bed and we (or Ted) would never get him out!

Finally, Ted grabbed "George" by his monstrous tail. Manhandling the huge creature, Ted flung him off my deck on the Cape Richards' side of my house.

I can tell you honestly, I was a shaking mess for a little while! And I felt a bit of a hypocrite. Every day, sometimes up to three times a day, when guests arrived by seaplane or the boat contracted from the mainland, I sat them down while their luggage was being taken up to their cabins, for a "greet and meet". Over coffee, tea or juice, I would tell them about the island and what they could do and what to expect during their visit. During my talk with them, I would explain that there were snakes on the island but as the island was their (the snakes) natural habitat and we (humans) were the invaders of their territory.

The end of this story is....a few weeks later, I left the island to spend a night in Cardwell on tourist business. Upon my arrival back the following day.....Ruska was missing. I never saw him again. My heart was broken. He is still in my thoughts to this day. Ruska was a wonderful, loving pet that did no harm to anything.

What we should have done was put "George" in a large bag and transported him by boat to another part of the island. A lesson well-learned...but a lesson I wish I'd never had to learn.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

I Just Can't Help Myself...I Had To Do It!

This post is in dedication to a very special dear friend who is close to my heart! For a change, I thought I would give you some one-pot recipes...crockpot cooking. Although, I don't have a crockpot and have never used one, I know they are very handy to those of you who work long, hard hours and have no inclination to prepare a meal when you arrive home after a tedious day. I hope that these give you some helpful ideas, and when you prepare and eat them, you will think of me!

Chicken Cordon Bleu: Grab 6 chicken breasts and pound them! Lay a slice of ham/proscuitto or pancetta on each pounded, flattened breast together with a slice of Swiss cheese on each. Roll up and secure with toothpicks. Roll in seasoned flour. Place about a 1lb of sliced mushrooms and 1/2 cup chicken broth in bottom of crockpot together with some sliced onion and some crushed garlic. Layer the rolled chicken on top in such a way that the cheese won't drip out while cooking. Pour over 2 cans of cream of mushroom soup and sprinkle over some grated Parmesan cheese. Cover and heat for 6-7 hours or whatever time suits your personal requirements. Serve over rice.

Crockpot Cajun Ribs:
Place 2 cups chopped or sliced carrots, 1 large onion, chopped, crushed garlic, 1 large pepper/capsicum, cut into pieces and two teaspoons Cajun seasoning into pot. Mix well. Cut 4lbs pork or beef ribs into individual ribs. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning over the ribs and place on top of the vegetables in the crockpot. Pour one can of crushed tomatoes or whole tomatoes, over the ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 7 or so hours. Thicken the sauce at the end of cooking with a little cornstarch/cornflour mixed with water, if you like.

BBQ-Spicy Chicken Wings: Place 5lb (2kg) chicken wings, tips removed into crockpot. Combine 12oz chilli (chili for those who can't spell! Hahaha) sauce, 1/3 cup lemon juice, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, 2 tablespoons molasses (or golden syrup or honey), 2 tsp chilli powder, 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce, salt to taste if required and crushed garlic. You can change the quantities around to suit your taste. Mix together well and pour over chicken wings making sure all are well-coated. Cook on low 6-8 hours. You probably have your own barbecue sauce/marinate that you it will work well in this recipe.

South-Western Chilli Chicken: Put 2 cans of rinsed red kidney beans in bottom of crockpot. Add 2 cans corn niblets. Sprinkle over some chilli powder to suit your taste. Chop 5 large chicken breasts and place on top of corn and beans. Pour in two cans of whole tomatoes. Sprinkle with some more chilli powder. Add one chopped onion last of all. Cover and cook on High for 6 hours or to whatever and temperature that suits your needs.

I hope you have some fun with around with them, add or deduct whatever you wish.
The Pressure's On!

I had something really interesting to write about...or I thought I did...but now I've forgotten what it was going to be! Oh! Dear! I'll go and have a shower, perhaps a shower might restore my memory cells! Whatever it was mustn't have been too important. I hate when that happens, don't you? It will probably strike me around midnight tonight, torment my mind until I'll have no alternative but to jump out of bed and do something about it!

I'm off to have a shower...then off to the supermarket...and to put the Lotto on...$21m tomorrow has to be in it to win it! But with my luck...I have to be in it, to lose it!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Make Up Your Mind, Peter Beattie....This Is Not a Joke!

I do try to be happy, really I do! But "Me and My Shadow...Peter Beattie & Anna Bligh Duo" are pushing their limits with me at the moment! What a pair...better than Fred and Ginger, those two are! Or should I say Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis?

What on earth do they think they are doing? Fooling around with the lives of people in the proposed Traveston Dam area is not at all funny, Peter Beattie! It's a travesty and a tragedy what you are causing these people to go through...all you can do is laugh! How I'd love to see the government try to take your home off you! I bet that would take the smile off your face!

First, these Mary Valley folk have had to go through all the heartache of selling their properties...their the State Government...only to be told a few weeks or couple of months later that the government no longer requires their properties and will SELL the properties back to them! If I was in their shoes, I think I'd tell Beattie to shove it "where the sun don't shine!"

What a bungle! Another family was advised today that they DON'T have to sell! What on earth is going on, Peter Beattie? Oh! Yes...of course, I've got to confer with Anna Bligh first! How silly of me!

Anna Bligh, Beattie's deputy premier, is planning to go to the Gympie area tomorrow. She had better put on her battle jacket! I don't believe that her reception is going to be very welcoming...and you certainly can't blame the people of Gympie and those who are being affected by the proposed Traveston Dam!

Beattie had the arrogance and audacity to make a joke about the dam in parliament yesterday! I wish someone would wipe that stupid smile off his silly face! We had our chance back in September and failed! I grabbed the chance with both hands!

Yes...this issue is making me very angry! And I didn't want to feel this way today!